The 2017-2018 school year has provided some great highlights in both cross country and track across the Sunshine State. In the coming weeks many of our seniors will head out to start their college careers both athletically and academically. We wanted to salute them one more time in this special feature and say thank you for your support over the years.
What was your most memorable race/moment?
My most memorable moments were always when I qualified for States. Standing on the podium was one of the best feelings but I was always grateful just to make it to states and compete. My sophomore year I qualified for States in the 300 hurdles and I was excited just to be able to participate in the State meet. My junior year was the best when I qualified in triple jump because my goal was to make it to the finals. I came in at a lower mark from the other girls but I fought my way to 7th place. Lastly, my senior year I qualified for triple jump, the 4x4 and 100 hurdles but I could not run 100 hurdles because of an IB test. I finished 7th in the triple jump but I wished I would've been able to run 100 hurdles too.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
There was always great competition going down south to Miami and Miramar but my biggest competition was in my mind. I tried to remember that your body would push itself even more as long as your mind was in the right place. Having your mindset in the right place to push yourself even harder is a challenge that I think all athletes have to overcome.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was placing 8th in the 2016 AAU Junior Olympic Games in Triple Jump. That year was one of the best because I had only learned how to triple jump four months before this meet. My goal was to run my hardest and jump my farthest at the Junior Olympics so I could qualify for the finals. Since that meet, triple jump has always been my favorite event.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
I would have continued to run 100 meter hurdles during my sophomore and junior year giving myself more time and opportunities to decrease my time. I would also emphasize stretching more to prevent injuries and strains.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome was when I fell over a hurdle and scraped my knee horribly two days before the 2017 AAU Junior Olympics. It was hard to even bend my knee and I had to compete in the heptathlon, triple jump and long jump at the JO's. I realized that the obstacle was not my knee because I was capable of running, but instead it was my mind holding me back. I pushed myself hard that meet to prove, to not only my coaches and parents, but to myself that I was stronger than I thought. Another obstacle was trying to balance track with IB, AP and honors classes and my extracurricular activities.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss the bonds I made with my teammates and all my coaches. I will also miss all the fun and exciting meets that I shared with both my high school track team and my club team.
What advice you would give to younger athletes?
I would tell younger athletes that, yes, your times and distances are important, but what really matters are your grades and test scores. Also that it is very important to stretch properly in order to prevent injuries.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
I have had many influencing coaches including Coach Sinclair and Coach Clyde Harris from Boynton Beach who encouraged me to be not only a great athlete but also to be a great person off the track. They taught me from a young age that education always comes first. My strength trainer Marvin Boyd influenced my track career a lot by teaching me my favorite event, Triple Jump, and he also told me that I am a power jumper. My high school coach, Coach Paramore, improved my hurdle races and was always there to encourage me and my teammates. My current coach, Derek Walker from FastLane track club, has not only boosted my performances but also taught me how important life is and that we should always be grateful for the blessings and opportunities that God gives us. His stories have influenced me to be a better athlete and also to strive for big dreams in life.
What are your college plans?
I plan to attend Alcorn State University in the fall to continue my track career and education. I will be majoring in Biology Pre-med and competing in the long jump and triple jump for Alcorn State.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talents and to be able to compete at the Division 1 level in college. I would like to thank my parents for always supporting me on and off the track. I would like to thank my strength trainer, Marvin Boyd, for teaching me how to triple jump and taking my performances to the next level. I also want to thank all my high school and club coaches: Coach Sinclair, Coach Harris, Coach Pat, Coach Smith-Thomas, Coach Rod, Coach Paramore, Coach Walker and Coach Marqueshia.